Ivorian, Burkinabe troops kill eight jihadists, capture 30 in first joint operation
London, May 26, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Soldiers from Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso have conducted their first joint operation against jihadists active near their shared border, killing eight suspected militants and arresting 30 others
The joint operation was launched on May 11 with about 1,000 Ivorian soldiers participating from their side of the 580-kilometre (360-mile) border with Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast’s army said in a statement.
The suspected militants were killed in Burkina Faso, the army said, adding that the operation is ongoing.
In a separate operation, security sources in Burkina Faso say troops have also killed 13 jihadists in a gun battle in the province of Soum, in the north of the country.
Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have suffered from frequent attacks from Islamist insurgencies with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State, as security experts say other countries in the region are increasingly concerned.
Jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have escalated dramatically over the past year despite significant military support from former colonial ruler France.
The attacks prompted Burkina Faso parliament to pass legislation allowing the military to use civilian volunteers in the fight against Islamic extremism, a decision that underscores how outnumbered soldiers are amid rising attacks across the West African country.
While Ivory Coast has mostly been spared the violence affecting its neighbours, it was the victim in 2016 of an attack claimed by al Qaeda in which gunmen killed 19 people at a beach resort.
A joint operation from Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon recently carried out air raids on islands in Lake Chad sheltering Boko Haram fighters, killing at least 50 in Nigerian territory
Niger’s defence ministry same week, announced the death of 75 fighters with the Boko Haram extremist group in two operations